The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror

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Overview

Natan Sharansky believes that the truest expression of democracy is the ability to stand in the middle of a town square and express one's views without fear of imprisonment. He should know. A dissident in the USSR, Sharansky was jailed for nine years for challenging Soviet policies. During that time he reinforced his moral conviction that democracy is essential to both protecting human rights and maintaining global peace and security.

Sharansky was catapulted onto the Israeli ...

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The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror

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Overview

Natan Sharansky believes that the truest expression of democracy is the ability to stand in the middle of a town square and express one's views without fear of imprisonment. He should know. A dissident in the USSR, Sharansky was jailed for nine years for challenging Soviet policies. During that time he reinforced his moral conviction that democracy is essential to both protecting human rights and maintaining global peace and security.

Sharansky was catapulted onto the Israeli political stage in 1996. In the last eight years, he has served as a minister in four different Israeli cabinets, including a stint as Deputy Prime Minister, playing a key role in government decision making from the peace negotiations at Wye to the war against Palestinian terror. In his views, he has been as consistent as he has been stubborn: Tyranny, whether in the Soviet Union or the Middle East, must always be made to bow before democracy.

Drawing on a lifetime of experience of democracy and its absence, Sharansky believes that only democracy can safeguard the well-being of societies. For Sharansky, when it comes to democracy, politics is not a matter of left and right, but right and wrong.

This is a passionately argued book from a man who carries supreme moral authority to make the case he does here: that the spread of democracy everywhere is not only possible, but also essential to the survival of our civilization. His argument is sure to stir controversy on all sides; this is arguably the great issue of our times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Drawing on his autobiography-from Soviet refusenik to Israeli cabinet minister - Sharansky distinguishes between "fear" and "free" societies. He spends a significant amount of time taking on conservative "realists" who prize stability in international relations, as well as liberals who he says fail to distinguish between flawed democracies that struggle to implement human rights and authoritarian or totalitarian states that flout human rights as a matter of course. Sharansky criticizes those who argue that democracy is culturally contingent and therefore unsuited for Muslim societies. Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he mentions documented Israeli human rights abuses, but places the bulk of the blame for the conflict on the dictatorial systems prevalent in Arab societies. He also weighs in on the vexing subject of how to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from the "new anti-Semitism." Such criticism must pass the "3D" test of "[no] demonization, double standards, or delegitimation." Sharansky does not grapple deeply with the current situation in Iraq, but his opinions throughout, honed through years in a Soviet prison and in the corridors of power, feel earned. Agent, Marvin Josephson at ICM. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586483548
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 2/5/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 486,516
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Natan Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident, political prisoner, and human rights icon who has spent his life championing democracy and freedom. He now serves as the Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in the Israeli Government.

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Table of Contents

Preface IX
Introduction 1
1 Is Freedom for Everyone? 18
2 A Free Society and a Fear Society 39
3 Dognat Y Peregnat 65
4 Mission Possible 96
5 From Helsinki to Oslo 144
6 The Battle for Moral Clarity 193
7 A Missed Opportunity 227
Conclusion 266
Notes 281
Acknowledgments 291
Index 295
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Customer Reviews

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